A few days before the transfer window closed last summer, some of Manchester City’s most senior executives gathered in a conference room on the club’s spacious campus to find out what went right and what went wrong. in comparison. Months.
Although City managed to persuade Premier League champions Aston Villa to step down from Jack Grellish, who had emerged as England’s breakout star during the European Championships – this was the most important event in English history. Made expensive player – it failed. To achieve his second priority, Tottenham striker Hurricane.
Instead of trying to recover, they wallow in their sadness and thus, experience more failure. Kane, on one occasion, refused to train with Tottenham, the club he had supported as a child, in the hope that Spurs’ hand would be forcibly squeezed, but his break-up failed. ۔ Tottenham claimed that City had failed to make an offer that would serve as a starting point for talks.
This afternoon, City executives considered their strategy, considered why the agreement had not been reached, and how they would proceed. As the meeting ended and his colleagues stood to go out, club chairman Khaldun al-Mubarak made a final comment. It consisted of only two words, a wish and a direction. “Earling Holland,” he said.
More than nine months later, that goal has been achieved. On Tuesday afternoon, City confirmed that they had reached an “agreement in principle” with the current Dutch club, German side Borussia Dortmund, to acquire the striker, who will be in the top two in world football this summer. Is one of the most favorite forwards – 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund, and one of the twins of the next generation after Ronaldo, after the first football Messi with Kylen Mbabane. Is done
In fact, it did not take nine months to strike a deal with Dortmund. The Dutch deal included a buy-out clause, sometimes in the region of $ 75 million, which gave Dortmund nothing to say about where he could play next season. The whole city, everyone, had to inform Dortmund of its intention to pay. The Dutch employer was not in a position to transact.
The process of convincing the Netherlands was much more complicated than the fact that Citi was the right step in his carefully planned career. The 21-year-old Dutchman may have an emotional connection to the club: his father, Alfie, played for City at the turn of the century, and although his son has no recollection of his time at Manchester, he told the Times in 2019 that He had some love for all his former teams.
But, as City will know, there has been little room for romance in the invincible heyday of Earling Holland. Each stage of his journey is mapped out surgically – possibly infamous – by his twin sherpas with accuracy: his longtime representative, Menu Riola, the distributing Dutch-Italian agent who died last month; And her father.
When the Netherlands left Norway at a young age, it rejected the efforts of the English and German teams in favor of Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, a reliable production line for the major European leagues and the possibility of matches in the Champions League. Is home . When he left Salzburg it was not for England but for Dortmund, a club with a track record of player development and sales and a desire to establish a reasonable purchase clause.
Of course, this meant that not only was the Netherlands proof of a recession – 75 75 million, by modern standards, a great value for a player who seems to have the design and engineering to score as many goals as possible. Done – but when the inevitable auction begins, the bar will not be about who can pay Dortmund the most, but who can offer the most attractive package for the player and his advisers.
To ensure the best possible results, Raiola and Alfie Haaland traveled to European super clubs, generating interest and fanning the flames. Visited Real Madrid and Barcelona. Chelsea and Manchester United were blinking in the ambiguous direction. Even, for a time, Bayern Munich was teased.
Of course it was their job. This is exactly what Raula was paid to do. He did so with a startling effect: not only because current estimates put the deal somewhere north of 200 million in total, once the Dutch salary and various agent fees are taken into account. Yes, but in doing so, the agents may have invented a brand new model for shaping the careers of their players.
The wisdom gained, in football, has always been that players – bluntly – should always take money, big breaks, as soon as possible. It only takes one blow to make the best plan explode. One summer spirit can be thought provoking after another. Clubs are lively, and everything has an expiration date.
Rawla reversed it for the Netherlands, preferring a policy of delayed relief. He did not pursue the tear-jerking transfer fee – as he did, perhaps, for another client, Paul Pogba – but he did make his client’s appeal a little more slowly. Making sure that he is not only in a position to jump into one of Europe’s elite teams, but to do so in a way that benefits the player (and his representatives) and not the club at the moment. He was the owner of the contract.
The city’s offer is rewarding. This is not without its warnings: Manager Pep Guardiola has worked with some of the best strikers of modern times, but not always successfully. He has spent six years working hard to fix his system in the city, all he has to do is adjust it completely to make it fit the Netherlands. Sometimes, though, football is a surprisingly simple sport. A player who joins a team and scores a lot of goals which creates a lot of opportunities should really have only one result.
Whether this is the final reward or not is another matter. Around the same time the city was preparing its announcement, Mbappé was taking pictures while having lunch in Madrid. His contract at Paris Saint-Germain is coming to an end in a few weeks and despite an impossibly big offer of stay, he looks set to move to Real Madrid this summer. Financing the deal would, in effect, reduce City’s offer to the Netherlands.
This is the logical next step of the model started by Rawla and Holland Family. It’s a reflection of the financial reality of football. There is no price point at which City, or PSG, feel compelled to sell a player. This leaves only one option: terminate the contract and move towards a free market.
This is the challenge that awaits the city. This time around, he has won by convincing the Netherlands – his first true, plug-and-play superstar, someone who would be thought of but never called a franchise player – his best next There was a step. The question is, for a player whose career is planned so coldly, so ruthlessly, is this his last?